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No honey in my hive!


#1

Did a bee inspection today and was shocked to see no honey. A little history on our hive: We purchased a hive of bees and a nuc last July. Both hives did well for months, however, last October or November our Carnelian hive queen stopped laying so we got rid of her and combined the hives. We fed all winter, but stopped feeding about a month and a half ago as we were having an early spring with lots of wildflowers. Last inspection was March 31st and there was plenty of honey at that time. Today we saw the queen, lots of capped brood in a good laying pattern, two stages of larvae, some pollen, but no honey whatsoever. A little more info, we have two new Russian queens coming in two weeks (our current queen is also a Russian) and we plan to split the hive.

Should we be concerned? Should we feed? I think we are currently still in a good honey flow here in Central Texas. We have lots of Indian Blankets around plus other wild flowers, roses, etc. Indian Blankets are a major nectar source here.

This newbee sure appreciates any help!


#2

Hi Tonya, did you notice if there were lots of bees in the hive?


#3

Yes, there seemed to be a lot. We have two deeps and there were a bunch in each deep.I didn’t notice near as many drones as there were on March 31st.


#4

last spring I noticed in my hives that there was very little honey to spare for the first few months- whilst the populations steadily increased. I think at that time the bees were consuming all the nectar pretty much as it was coming in. Once the population density reached a certain level- the number of foragers must have reached a critical point where they could collect more nectar than the hive could consume- the tipping point- after that the honey was laid in heavily. On one very large swarm I put the flow super onto the brood box immediately- simply because the swarm was so large and needed the room. For the next two month they did not put a drop of honey into the super- but then- one day it started and within just a few weeks they had entirely filled it.

hopefully your hive will be like mine. If I was you I would probably give the bees a little something extra to eat at this stage.


#5

Is she the same queen you saw last year?


#6

Oct/Nov is when many queens stop laying in North America.


#7

Thanks Semaphore. I received a similar response to an email to a local beek last night. He said that he is not showing much honey coming in right now either and recommended feeding to supplement. Your explanation of density levels, etc., was very helpful in helping me understand what may be going on. Also, I was not aware that the bees used nectar as food prior to making it into honey. That eases my mind a bit about the “girls” starving. Thanks again for your help.


#8

Hi Dee, yes this is the same queen, she is marked.

Hi Red, that is interesting info about queens stopping their laying in Oct/Nov. In the future, if this happens and our hive has built up sufficiently to last through our winter, I guess I should not be concerned. Is that correct? I know that the life cycle of the bees is lengthened during the winter, which would logically lead to a reduction in laying, but I didn’t realize she stopped altogether.

Learning lots of good stuff! Thanks all.


#9

Somewhat notoriously, Italians queens often don’t stop laying. That makes them heavy on food consumption over winter, compared with other strains. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if your Carnies and Russians took a brood break.

If they aren’t Italians, yes. :wink:


#10

Where I am, there isn’t any brood in my nucs or 1 and 2 deep hives by Thanksgiving. The 3 deep hives on the other hand will keep brood and drones throughout.

Therefore, I wouldn’t be concerned as long as the hive appears healthy. At tht stage, there’s nothing you could do anyway.


#11

Why my bees are not making honey I have good honey bee condition but still…one thing is that my hive is not clean it is so black ie wax on walls getting black


#12

Faizan, we will need more information before making an assessment, bees don’t make honey for many reasons, colony strength, no available nectar, continual swarming. The hive becoming black is most likely due to mould, what are the conditions like where you are… wet, cold, rainy?
Can you post photos to show what you are talking about? This will help us make an assessment.